Affordable Access

Publisher Website

Study protocol: the development of a randomised controlled trial testing a postcard intervention designed to reduce suicide risk among young help-seekers

BMC Psychiatry
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1186/1471-244x-9-59
  • Study Protocol
  • Design
  • Psychology


Background Suicidal behaviour and deliberate self harm are common among adolescents. Limited evidence exists regarding interventions that can reduce risk; however research indicates that maintaining contact either via letter or postcard with at-risk adults following discharge from services can reduce risk. The aim of the study is to test a postcard intervention among people aged 15-24 who presented to mental health services but are not accepted, yet are at risk of suicide. Methods/design The study is a 3-year randomised controlled trial conducted at Orygen Youth Health Research Centre in Melbourne Australia. Participants are young help-seekers aged 15-24 who are at risk of suicide. Participants will be recruited over a 12 month period. The intervention comprises a regular postcard to be sent monthly for 12 months. The postcard enquires after their well being and includes information regarding individual sources of help and evidence-based self help strategies. Participants are assessed at baseline, 12 and 18 months. Discussion This paper describes the development of a study which aims to reduce suicide risk in a sample of young help-seekers. If effective, this intervention could have significant clinical and research implications for a population who can be hard to treat and difficult to research. Trial Registration The study was registered with the Australian Clinical Trials Registry; number: ACTRN012606000274572.

There are no comments yet on this publication. Be the first to share your thoughts.